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Give your Web site a lead-generation checkup

December 20, 2010

By Bob DeStefano – July 2009

 

Is your Web site a lead-generation machine? Your Web site can be your most powerful marketing tool, delivering a steady stream of new business leads and filling your sales pipeline. Unfortunately, most companies do not optimize their Web sites for lead generation-offering nothing more than passive online brochures. Find out your Web site’s lead-generation potential now by giving it a lead-generation checkup. Review the 10 questions below and give yourself one point for each ‘yes’ answer. Good luck!

Does your home page clearly communicate what your company does and the audiences you serve?

First impressions count, and more people will see your home page than any other page on your Web site. So make sure your home page is as welcoming and useful as possible. It should clearly communicate your capabilities and the solutions your company provides. It should be a timely digest of the latest and greatest information you have to offer. Most importantly, it should focus on your prospects’ needs and serve to guide them through your Web site to find the information that can best help them.

Do you use a conversational tone in your Web site’s copy?

People think their Web site is designed to serve the thousands of people that will visit it. The reality is that one person will visit your Web site at a time. Make sure you connect with each visitor by taking a friendly, conversational tone in your copy. Write as though you’re sitting with them over coffee. Demonstrate that you understand the challenges they face and offer a solution.

Do you offer useful educational content in addition to product and service information?

Don’t just sell – educate. Complement your product and service information with valuable educational information that helps your customers do their jobs better. Pack your site with “how to” articles, best practices guides, training videos and other educational content. This will turn your Web site into more of a resource center that your customers and prospects will trust and visit on a regular basis.

Is your Web site optimized for top ranking in the search engines?

Search engines such as Google are your best source for targeted, motivated leads. Your prospects are searching for you. Make it easy for them to find you by boosting your rank in the search engines. To turn your Web site into a search engine magnet, fill your Web site’s copy and coding with the keyword phrases your customers use most often. In addition, build a network of quality inbound links to your Web site from reputable and industry-relevant external Web sites.

Are you updating your Web site’s content regularly?

Is your latest press release from 2006? Does your copyright notice still say 2007 or earlier? People want to do business with dynamic companies. And to project your dynamism you need to have a fresh and relevant Web site. Make it a point to take a critical look at your Web site at least monthly and add or remove information to improve its value to your customers and prospects.

Does every page of your Web site include a compelling call to action?

Don’t make the mistake of relying on your “contact us” page as the sole method for prospects to take action. To turn your Web site into a lead-generation machine, pepper it with a variety of relevant calls to action inviting prospects to reach out and take the next step.

Do your “calls to action” address prospective customers at each stage of the buying cycle?

Not everyone is ready to buy from you today. Some people are kicking tires; others may have a basic early-stage question. Look for ways to compel all prospects to reach out to you by offering tailored “calls to action” that appeal to prospects at each stage of the buying process. Examples include “ask the experts” forms, complimentary consultations, downloadable best practice guides, free trials, and so on.

Is your phone number prominently displayed on every page of your Web site?

Don’t forget to prominently display your phone number on every page of your Web site. In our experience, people are at least as likely, if not two to three times more likely, to pick up the phone when they are browsing a company’s Web site. And there is no better time to be talking with this prospect because you can use your Web site as a presentation tool.

Are your online forms short, asking only for basic contact information (name, company, phone and email address, for example)?

Are your online lead-generation forms as long and daunting as a tax return? If so, shorten them. The more fields your forms include the less likely prospects will be to fill them out. Only ask for basic contact information that your salespeople need to make an intelligent follow-up. You can program these forms on the back-end to identify the page the person was on so your salesperson can prepare for the call.

Do you have a process in place to ensure your Web site inquiries receive immediate follow-up?

How long does it take for your salespeople to follow-up online lead inquiries? If the follow-up is not immediate, you are leaving money on the table. Assign salespeople to follow-up online leads and make sure the inquiries get to them as soon as possible. Tie your Web site forms into a customer relationship management (CRM) system such as SalesForce.com or SugarCRM to streamline your lead-management and follow-up process.

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